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Rizwan leads Pakistan to four-wicket win in last over thriller

Johannesburg, 10 April 2021: An unbeaten 74 from Mohammad Rizwan guided Pakistan to a four-wicket win over South Africa in the first of four T20I match series at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday. This is Pakistan’s highest run-chase in T20I surpassing 184 run target against Australia at the Harare Sports Club on 8 July 2018.

Player-of-the-match Rizwan who in the last three outings have scored 104 not out, 51 and 42 against South Africa at home couple of months back, continued his rich form. He kept the scoreboard ticking and helped the side take a 1-0 lead.

Requiring 38 runs from three overs, the right handed Rizwan struck Beuran Hendricks for two fours and a six in the 18th over to brought down the equation to 22 required off the two overs.

Chasing 189 to win, Pakistan lost their captain Babar Azam (14 off 14, three fours) in the fifth over with 41 runs on board. Rizwan was joined by in-form Fakhar Zaman at the crease, but Fakhar got out for playing an expensive shot off Tabraiz Shamsi not before scoring a 19-ball 27. His innings included four fours and a six.

Mohammad Hafeez playing in his 100th T20I was next to go scoring 13 off 11, becoming Shamsi’s second victim in the match. Hafeez when batting on 12 became the highest run-getter for Pakistan in T20I, surpassing Shoaib Malik’s 2335 runs.

Haider Ali (14 off eight, three fours) and Mohammad Nawaz (0 off one) put the tourists in a spot of bother with 132 runs on the board for the loss of five wickets, still requiring 57 from 28 balls.

Rizwan was joined by Faheem Ashraf. The pair knitted a match winning 48-run partnership for the sixth wicket off just 24 balls. Faheem smashed four fours and a six in his knock of 30 which came off just 14 balls.

Requiring 11 runs from the last over, Faheem got out on the second ball of the over, with Pakistan still requiring nine runs from four balls. Hasan Ali scored four off the first ball and collected five runs from the next two balls to take the Pakistan home with a ball to spare.

Earlier, after deciding to bat first, South Africa managed to score 188 for six courtesy half-centuries from Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen. Markram top-scored with 51 off 32, which included eight fours and a six. The wicketkeeper-batsman Klaasen scored a quick-fire 50 off 28 balls, hitting two fours and four sixes.

The pair put up a 62-run stand for the third wicket.

For the touring side, Mohammad Nawaz and Hasan Ali bowled economically and picked two wickets apiece for 21 and 28 runs, respectively.

The second T20I will be played at the same venue on Monday.

Scores in brief

South Africa 188-6, 20 overs (Aiden Markram 51, Heinrich Klaasen 50, Pite van Biljon 34; Mohammad Nawaz 2-21, Hasan Ali 2-28)

Pakistan 189-6, 19.5 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 74 not out, Faheem Ashraf 30, Fakhar Zaman 27; Beuran Hendricks 3-32, Tabraiz Shamsi 2-29)

Player of the match – Mohammad Rizwan